Author Archives: Alexander Wood

Fossil fuel developments on U.S. public lands emit more greenhouse gases than most countries.

New research from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association could help pinpoint snow levels in mountain ranges across the Western United States eight months in advance. That’s more certainty of the future than we’re getting from most government agencies these days, so we’ll take it!

“Snowpack” refers to layers of mountain snow that build up during the winter, harden into large masses of frozen water, and then melt in the spring. That melted snow trickles down to feed rivers and streams, bolster municipal water supplies, and supply farmers with a majority of the water they need to grow crops. Eighty percent of snowmelt runoff is used for agriculture.

A lack of snowpack, furthermore, is a big cause of wildfires and drought. Declining snowpack levels in Western mountain ranges in recent years contributed to 2017’s unprecedented drought and wildfire season.

Now, scientists at NOAA think they can help farmers and water managers in the West by predicting where water resources are most likely to accumulate and how much snowmelt can be expected.

This summer, researchers will already be working on snowpack predictions for March 2019 across the western U.S. — with the exception of the southern Sierra Nevada mountain ranges, where random storms make predictions difficult.

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Fossil fuel developments on U.S. public lands emit more greenhouse gases than most countries.

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Credit Where It’s Due: The Press Is Covering Steve Bannon’s Racist Ties

Mother Jones

I’ve seen a lot of complaints today that the press is ignoring or “normalizing” Steve Bannon’s ties to the racist alt-right. I have plenty of beefs with the way the Trump campaign was covered, but at least for now, credit where it’s due: no one is ignoring this. Here’s a roundup of headlines from today. Even Fox News felt obligated to mention it.


Credit Where It’s Due: The Press Is Covering Steve Bannon’s Racist Ties

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Was Your Daughter Killed in a Car Crash? Database Marketers Want to Know.

Mother Jones

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Do you ever wonder just how much personal information all those database marketing folks know about you? The short answer is: A lot. One company alone processes 50 trillion transactions a year and boasts that it has collected 1,500 “data points” each on 500 million active consumers worldwide (including a majority of adults in the United States). Try reading this and this if you want to get up to speed. But for pure creepiness, it’s hard to beat this:

A suburban Chicago couple who lost their teenage daughter in a car crash last year feels as if they were victimized again after receiving a letter from OfficeMax Thursday. The envelope was addressed to Mike Seay, but the second line read “Daughter Killed in Car Crash.”

Seay’s 17-year-old daughter, Ashley, was one of two teens killed in a crash last April when their SUV veered off the road and slammed into a tree in Antioch.

Yep. “Daughter killed in car crash” is an entry in somebody’s database record for Mike Seay. And why not? Grieving parents might be a soft target for certain kinds of goods and services, after all. You have to take advantage of those kinds of opportunities.

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Was Your Daughter Killed in a Car Crash? Database Marketers Want to Know.

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Here’s Who Profits If the Government Defaults

Mother Jones

If House Republicans don’t agree to raise the nation’s debt ceiling and a default ensues, the economic effects would be “catastrophic,” in the words of Treasury Secretary Jack Lew. The nation’s borrowing costs would spike, as would interest rates for average Americans, and the stock market would plummet. But not everyone will lose if a default causes an economic catastrophe. Here’s who could profit from a financial calamity:

1. Short sellers: Most folks invest in stocks and bonds hoping the value of their investments will increase. But there’s also money to be made by short selling—betting that the value of a stock or bond will drop. Short selling is an investment strategy that’s typically employed by sophisticated investors and financial firms, but technically anyone can do it. Investors who bet that the value of US Treasury securities will dip would likely profit. Because a default could cause the US stock market to crash, shorting almost any US stock could make you money. In fact, you can even invest in specific mutual funds that specialize in short selling. “It’s a very powerful and disillusioning feeling to know that smart rich people can make money even when America goes over Niagara Falls in a barrel,” says Jeff Connaughton, a former investment banker and White House lawyer during the Clinton administration.

2. Investors in gold and silver: Gold and silver typically rise in value when when the stock market is volatile, because they hold their value better than paper money or other assets. The price of both metals rose this week as default fears heightened.

3. Bitcoin investors (maybe): The value of this untraceable virtual currency has tracked closely with gold over the past year, suggesting that it could serve as a more stable investment during a financial crisis.

4. Currency traders: Traders who bet that the US dollar will decrease in value relative to foreign currencies stand to profit off of a US government default.

5. Pawn shops: If the effects of a default are catastrophic, stocks will plummet, pension funds could dry up, credit card interest rates will rise, and jobs will be lost. Though credit markets may freeze up, as they did in the wake of the 2008 meltdown, pawn shops ought to do well, as they did following the last crisis.

6. Bankruptcy lawyers: See above.

7. Mortgage servicers: Mortgage rates typically rise and fall along with Treasury rates. If a default causes a spike in interest rates, home owners could see their monthly mortgage bills soar, causing some homeowners to default on their loans and wind up in foreclosure. You’d think this would be bad news for all parties involved—families, lenders, investors, mortgage servicers. But the latter actually turn a good profit by foreclosing on people; investors take the losses, while servicers make back all the money they’re owed in a foreclosure sale, plus all sorts of fees borrowers have to pay on their delinquent loans.

8. The canned and freeze-dried food industries: Doomsday preppers are already getting ready for the collapse of civilization that could result from a financial meltdown by stocking up on pork and beans and freeze-dried meals.

More here – 

Here’s Who Profits If the Government Defaults

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Eco-Friendly Cleaning Methods Are Simply Ideal For House Improvement

One of the most commonly taken for granted home improvement projects is a good and thorough cleaning. For some reason we think of cleaning as a time intensive and monetarily expensive endeavor. It doesn’t need to be expensive. When you use green cleaning techniques you improve the quality of your home and save money. Most people just use the regular, chemical-based cleaners they alway have, without even thinking about the damage that could be doing. Emissions being sent off from these types of cleaners are really bad for you when you inhale them. You can improve things by using the following tips for green cleaning.

There are lots of cleaning products that are green-based, so it is easy to find one. A lot of green cleaning products can now be found in any store, for example Seventh Generation, which is relatively affordable. That product line can be bought at Target for prices that are not too high. If you are used to using sprays and traditional types of cleansers, these lines (Method and Biokleen are others) are great ways to transition into other environmentally friendly cleaning methods. The nice thing about these products is that you can use them right away. There is nothing to prepare and no extra ingredients to purchase. You just buy, spray and clean. Cleaning your bathroom, while using cleaners filled with chemicals, is a dangerous idea. The ventilation in the bathroom is not the best, so there is no way for the chemicals to get out of room. Borax, vinegar and baking soda, because they lack chemicals, should be the cleaning solvents you rotate using at various times. Not only will you get a clean bathroom, but you won’t have to be concerned with chemicals in the air. As long as it doesn’t bother you, the bathroom door should be opened a bit, while you are bathing, to release the steam, plus to cut down on mildew, keep the fan running.

The cleansers, salt, vinegar, baking soda and lemon juice, should become your fab four. Whatever you need to have cleaned, can be cleaned by these ingredients, used in various combinations. If you need scrubbing, you will need the salt. When you need something for stains, grease and mildew, or just a topical wipe, the best cleansers in the store won’t beat lemon juice, baking soda or vinegar. These ingredients can be used in many ways, and by doing some research, a lot of cleaning recipes can be found.

If you are purchasing a house, have your home inspected by a professional. It is always good to have a professional and neutral opinion on the home you are interested in buying. Enlisting a professional inspector who does not have a stake in the sale is a smart method of keeping things honest.

Prior to staining or painting any wooden items, always use sandpaper in order to smooth out the wood’s surface. Once you do this, wipe off the item with a wet rag. You will get a smooth finish by using fine-grit sandpaper to sand the item. Then collect the dust with a damp paper towel or rag, preserving the smooth finish.

When you hire someone to do home improvement work for you, get a contract. When you’ve got a solid contract going for you, you shouldn’t have to be concerned with hidden charges or other unpleasant surprises. Not having a contract could really end up coming back to hurt you.

Cleaning your house should never involve furniture polish. When people make furniture polish, harmful chemicals are often used. It can actually detrimentally impact your health. They are bad for the air. They are bad for the structural integrity of whatever you are trying to make look better. It is possible to create green furniture polish by combining lemon juice and olive oil in a 1 to 2 ratio. Use a soft cloth to rub the mixture into your furniture. You can improve the overall appearance of any structure or item, plus make it shiny, by using this solution. The smell or odor of this mixture is much more pleasant than chemically-based furniture polish typically is. So many people overlook the fact that how you clean matters just as much as whether or not you clean. Once you give your house a thorough cleaning, you will have a much better idea of what home improvement projects you need to do. The health of your home, along with your own, will be made better by using green techniques for cleaning.

Green cleaning is certainly extremely important to us at Home Cleaning Pros – Supposing that you’re looking for even more info regarding eco-friendly cleaning or home improvement visit our site.

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